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Jack Wachter

Wachter's Attempts at Skinning

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I try. Pretty sure I've gotten past "attempts" according to the thread title at this point. I am taking requests btw, just finished some prototypes for @EzyzBasta.

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I say again, I am taking requests. PM me if interested.

EDIT: Adjustments made to the desert and jungle skins.

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Edited by Jack Wachter
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Got some more here. Finally someone who didn't want a full beard.

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What you don't see is all the friendlies I shoot so that they don't clutter any of the shots. Their sacrifices are necessary for these screenshots.

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Said it before and I'll say it again...Very nice!

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Went digging through some attachments in HU and this shemagh seems to work alright. Wonder if there are any other good ones I should look into. I'm especially interested in some good night vision, but seems like my options are pretty limited there (there's some decent PVS-14s, though would love to see some good PVS-15s).

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I FOUND A WAY. A way to rotate patterns to create more realistic gear textures due to the texture file setup. Here's the basic method:

  1. Create a fill layer with my desired pattern and scaling with the layer style set to "overlay."
  2. Rasterize the layer.
  3. Rotate the layer 90 degrees CCW.
  4. Apply one of the 3 layer masks made specifically for the rotated sections.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the other necessary layers, making sure that the pattern is applied in a different location so that it all doesn't line up at the end.

For the pouches that are already in the correct orientation, they work the same as before (pattern overlay + layer mask) but with different layer masks so as not to conflict with the layer masks for the rotated sections. The rasterizing process isn't ideal since not all my patterns are seamless and it's harder to figure out the final alignment before rotating. Here's what this could result in. I used a tiger stripe pattern to make the orientation differences easier to spot.

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I'm looking at maybe redoing some older skins and continuing to make more. This time, I'll probably take the HU approach of not sharing texture files between models so that it's easier to adjust in the future (Tertia Optio skin mods use shared gear files for instance). Could do a little touchup involving the leg holster and also increase realism and individuality by changing the pattern offsets for each skin, gear, and face texture as appropriate (some of my patterns that aren't seamless will limit how far I can go with this).

Or perhaps we just get a brand new model or set of models to work with. I've got ideas and 3ds Max 2017, so I may create something. With that said, I have almost 0 experience with 3ds Max and this project is still in very early concept phases. If I am to make something, it'll probably be something much more modern and I'll try to set the textures up for easy skinning with Photoshop alone. This is very much a long term project with no idea of if or when it'll be completed, just something I'm looking at doing for fun as time and interest allows. Here's a concept image of what I'd try and go for. Not exact, but has a lot I like in it. Plain colors used to make the details easier to see.

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Upon closer inspection of the file setup and how it shows up on the models, it seems that the rotated elements (the hydration pack and magazine pouch cover flap) are rotated different directions (90 degrees CCW and 90 degrees CW, respectively), it seems that the process gets a bit more tedious and requires even more layers (2 for the magazine pouch cover flap, 3 for the hydration pack, and 3 more for the rest of the pouches). RIP file size.

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Me: Let's make a bunch more layers of various "presets" for camo to allow for camo position variation to increase realism and immersion in preparation for a complete skin overhaul of my Tertia Optio mods.

Also me: injects nanomachines

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So working on that skin overhaul for Tertia Optio, made all of the body files. Still need to go through and play with the gear files and the face files and then use the reskinner tool again on way too many files.

Planned changes (some already complete):

  • Holster top strap fixed to fully connect to the waist instead of end weirdly
  • Color selection for coats limited to be more aesthetically pleasing rather than go for maximum variety
  • M81 Woodland updated to look a bit more faded
  • Tiger Stripe changed to the one used above
  • Numerous "presets" made for each camo to increase realism and immersion by making sure nobody looks exactly the same (unless it's 2 actors using the same .chr file)
  • Face texture overhaul for boonie hats and ball caps by adding camo options (Multicam, M81 Woodland, DCU, Desert Tiger Stripe, Tiger Stripe, maybe some color options as well)
  • A few custom specialists
  • Winter overhaul as well
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Thanks Rocky! It's been fun to mess with them, though there's several limitations with them.

Also got a patch for these guys to run instead of that green block or Blackwater patch that's there by default.

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So looks like I'm taking a few steps backwards here. Updating some camouflage patterns and going to have to remake several textures. Oh well. 2 of the main upgrades atm are the Multicam and Desert Tiger Stripe (this one I edited myself) along with some previews of other stuff to come.

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As for the current plan, here is what you can expect from the current project, HU - Tertia Optio v2 (it's a complete overhaul).

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Pants Camouflage Patterns

  • Woodland/Transitional: Multicam, M81 Woodland
  • Arid/Desert: Desert Tiger Stripe, 3 Color Desert DCU, Multicam
  • Tropical/Jungle: Tiger Stripe, M81 Woodland

Vest Camouflage Patterns and Colors

  • Woodland/Transitional: Multicam
  • Arid/Desert: Multicam, 3 Color Desert DCU, Desert
  • Tropical/Jungle: M81 Woodland, Olive Drab

Coat Colors

  • Woodland/Transitional: Dark Navy Blue, Gray, Olive Drab, Dark Green
  • Arid/Desert: Dark Navy Blue, Gray, Dark Sandstone, Sand
  • Tropical/Jungle: Dark Navy Blue, Gray, Olive Drab, Dark Green

Ball Cap Camouflage Patterns, Colors, and Brands

  • Woodland/Transitional: Multicam, M81 Woodland, Tiger Stripe, Gray, Olive Drab, Black
  • Arid/Desert: Desert Tiger Stripe, 3 Color Desert DCU, Multicam, Gray, Dark Sandstone, Sand
  • Tropical/Jungle: Tiger Stripe, M81 Woodland, Multicam, Gray, Dark Green, Olive Drab
  • Brands (All Environments): 5.11 Tactical, Surefire, Sun Microsystems, Caterpillar (CAT), Starbucks

Boonie Hat Camouflage Patterns and Colors

  • Woodland/Transitional: Multicam, M81 Woodland, Tiger Stripe, DPM Woodland, Flecktarn, Gray, Olive Drab, Black
  • Arid/Desert: Desert Tiger Stripe, 3 Color Desert DCU, 6 Color Desert DBDU, Multicam, DPM Desert, Tropentarn, Gray, Dark Sandstone, Sand
  • Tropical/Jungle: Tiger Stripe, M81 Woodland, Multicam, DPM Woodland, Flecktarn, Gray, Dark Green, Olive Drab

Helmet Colors and Patterns

  • Woodland/Transitional: Black, Green Painted, Green Snakeskin, Green
  • Arid/Desert: Dark Sandstone, Desert Painted, Desert Snakeskin, 3 Color Desert DCU
  • Tropical/Jungle: Green, Green Painted, Green Snakeskin

Balaclava Colors

  • Black
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Brown

I'm setting it up pretty similarly to how Apex likes to set his stuff up in HU and am also keeping the patterns appropriate for 2008-2010 timeframe. And as of now with most but not all of the files made, the size is already over 400 MB. I may also replace a few of the specialists (but keep their names in) where I can, but probably won't do everyone. This will also give me a chance to put a few more patterns in a more major role if I so choose.

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It's mostly done unless I find a bunch of bugs and/or mistakes I made. Going through 180 files with the reskinner tool isn't as bad as it sounds when you're listening to online lectures. Just got to do some testing and add the MP components to it. Final size is going to be, well... just look at the picture.

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EDIT: Pretty picture time.

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Edited by Jack Wachter
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Multitasking lol, you're going to wear yourself out!

Great results though, the best.

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On 02/09/2018 at 06:23, Jack Wachter said:

I FOUND A WAY. A way to rotate patterns to create more realistic gear textures due to the texture file setup. Here's the basic method:

  1. Create a fill layer with my desired pattern and scaling with the layer style set to "overlay."
  2. Rasterize the layer.
  3. Rotate the layer 90 degrees CCW.
  4. Apply one of the 3 layer masks made specifically for the rotated sections.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the other necessary layers, making sure that the pattern is applied in a different location so that it all doesn't line up at the end.

For the pouches that are already in the correct orientation, they work the same as before (pattern overlay + layer mask) but with different layer masks so as not to conflict with the layer masks for the rotated sections. The rasterizing process isn't ideal since not all my patterns are seamless and it's harder to figure out the final alignment before rotating. Here's what this could result in. I used a tiger stripe pattern to make the orientation differences easier to spot.

  Reveal hidden contents

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I'm looking at maybe redoing some older skins and continuing to make more. This time, I'll probably take the HU approach of not sharing texture files between models so that it's easier to adjust in the future (Tertia Optio skin mods use shared gear files for instance). Could do a little touchup involving the leg holster and also increase realism and individuality by changing the pattern offsets for each skin, gear, and face texture as appropriate (some of my patterns that aren't seamless will limit how far I can go with this).

Or perhaps we just get a brand new model or set of models to work with. I've got ideas and 3ds Max 2017, so I may create something. With that said, I have almost 0 experience with 3ds Max and this project is still in very early concept phases. If I am to make something, it'll probably be something much more modern and I'll try to set the textures up for easy skinning with Photoshop alone. This is very much a long term project with no idea of if or when it'll be completed, just something I'm looking at doing for fun as time and interest allows. Here's a concept image of what I'd try and go for. Not exact, but has a lot I like in it. Plain colors used to make the details easier to see.

  Hide contents

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This could be great!

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On 09/09/2018 at 12:07, SKIP said:

This could be great!

When I actually decide to take the time to attempt to learn 3ds max, hopefully.

Well released version 2 of Tertia Optio mod, posted in HU thread. Already want to redo it, welp. This time incorporate some plain plain clothes to mix in with the camo and adjust some patterns. Already went and adjusted the scaling on some patterns.

And speaking of Tertia Optio, I'd go check out its XTRAS folder. DO IT. It's got some neat stuff in there.

Rather than just crank out a new batch of skins and be like "here, version 3," I'm going to see if I can incorporate some other ideas into this. There's the 2 unused models included in Blood Oil that may present some new possibilities. The 2 models are the following: balaclava with Peltors and helmet with ballcap under it (lol) and Peltors.

I still need to take a closer look at the helmet one, but here's the results of my examination of the balaclava/Peltor model.

Notes

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  • No bulky side pouches contribute to a much slimmer profile than the others
  • Same belt setup as others
  • Magazines on front use a somewhat different texture setup. Looks like the Coyote Brown regular texture that uses open top magazine pouches. Yay since those are cool and yay since a template already exists, additional setup work should be minimal.
  • No hood. This opens up several possibilities. Experiment with camouflage (only issue is lower back, can always just fine tune camouflage position to try and match it as much as possible) and perhaps a combat shirt with rolled sleeves
  • Transition between pants and coat involves a slight increase in thickness, but minimal enough I may be able to extend the pants up without it looking weird. May also be able to completely merge them like an old flight suit used for CQB applications.
  • Knee pads on both legs. Since the models with knee pads have a slight bulge where those are, knowing I have both is good since both legs are symmetrical. This means I can play around with some combat pants with built-in knee pads for a more modern look.
  • Even if I keep the knee pads, the pant textures could definitely use more than just the side cargo pockets. I have some 5.11 pants that I've considered taking good pictures of and adding some different pockets.
  • Balaclava unfortunately uses some of helmet strap textures. Masking this is likely to be difficult due to the texture layout unless magic says that making the strap portion transparent reveals the underlying balaclava. Doubt this will work though. Not a big deal though.
  • That night vision sits a little bit low compared to the eye, but minimal. And with the head strap + chin strap, actually looks believable. Only reason he has night vision is that I had this model replace the ghillie sniper who has it as an attachment. Accidental discovery is a go.
  • Glasses model doesn't go all the way into the balaclava. Welp.
  • Pretty sure it still has the same hand/weapon placement issues as the other Blood Oil models. Some actually looked properly placed oddly enough... need to test more.
  • Different shoes (desert boots in this case), should be able to replace easily with the others for more options.
  • Black undershirt thing. Kind of cool honestly, may not even touch it outside of some fabric effects.
  • Gloves don't have any logos on them. Makes my life easier in terms of adjusting the color of them.
  • PELTORS ARE COOL

Screenshots

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Honestly, this model has a lot of things I like.

  • Slimmer, lighter profile
  • Some form of eye protection
  • Hearing protection
  • Face/identity protection
  • Night vision compatible
  • Possibly able to adjust clothing to significant degree without look weird
  • Can probably add a shemagh to it because those are cool. Wonder what other attachments will work well...

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Peltors looks good! also with Helmet and ballcap, maybe with some nvg device or with goggles Mount only.  

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Definitely looks good. Also looks like the straps for the magazine pouches on the left leg are there but the pouches aren't. Easy enough to remove.

Here's what the Helmet/Ball Cap model looks like with notes.

Notes

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  • Ball cap sticks out of the helmet portion. The texture for the ball cap portion is NOT controlled by the face textures
  • Nigh visions works but sits a little bit low
  • Goggles are part of the model
  • Looks like it's supposed to use the open top magazine pouches on the vest
  • Does have the bulky side pouches
  • Has flashbang pouches on the hydration carrier on the back
  • Peltors!
  • Double knee pads again (thank you symmetry)
  • Texture setup is the same as the other Peltor model. Arms look like same format and could exchange the skin for the covering found on the Peltor/Glasses model
  • No hood
  •  

Screenshots

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Definitely not as light and slim as the glasses/Peltors, but I like it. Makes sense as a CQB pointman with the back flashbang pouches.

Open top magazine pouch test

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Playing around with some ideas.

  • Combat pants similar to the Crye ones. Seems like it'll work well, difficult part is getting images of all the different fabric sections i want to use. Added a couple front pockets and a placeholder kneepad border thing.
  • Different attachments. Shemaghs work well enough, PVS-14 works well enough as well, want to experiment with some others as well. Gas mask works decently, so maybe for the helmet models. Ghillie is cool idea but doesn't work as well in execution. There is a decent helmet with some PVS-15s but it sits kind of weird and comes with an extra mic so nope.
  • Cap for balaclava similar to this to make the night vision use more believable.
  • Camouflage for the coat and maybe turning it into a combat shirt. Not sure how well this is going to work, may stick to solid colors for these.
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Good idea the camouflage for the coat, no chances to see some characters with ops core helmet? Or maybe replacing the standard CENTCOM bdu with multicam?

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Not touching CENTCOM due to their policy with using its content and the fact the model maker (Eskwaad) has been resistant to reskins of his models. Since the Blood Oil models are also made by Eskwaad, I'm already pushing it. With that said, Apex did reach out to Eskwaad a few months ago for me and AFAIK has gotten no reply so I'm going to continue work with the Blood Oil models unless told otherwise by Eskwaad.

Ops Core helmet, doesn't look like there's any good attachments close to it that work for these models. Besides, I'd rather have an AirFrame.

Updates:

  • Abandoning the night cap idea thing, it's dumb.
  • Combat pants mostly done I think. Made them G2 to better fit the timeframe I'm going for and the RAV being an older vest.
  • That skull is pretty nice. Kind of looks like the one from the old GR logo... That's because it is.

Some pictures of a newer but outdated version and 1 of my latest at the end.

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Edited by Jack Wachter

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It was probably inevitable that I would play around with the CENTCOM models at some point. Not sure if I'll use them for anything outside of me just messing around on my own time. If they are used, it will have to be in a mod that requires CENTCOM. Though I did see Mr. Moon wanted to use some CENTCOM reskins for his own mod but was persuaded not to. Either way, have some eye candy. I'll figure out what I want to do later.

Some winter concept testing. Replaced the legs with one of the VBSS guys and made it white. Didn't take out the leg straps so they aren't the dark black they should be. So basically this guy is wearing a SPEAR jacket on top of a custom white CQB one-piece (very similar to a flight suit). Further exploration could involve making the jacket gray and/or white and adding a balaclava to go with the beanie.

Lots of ideas running through my head for what we could call "Wachter's Ghosts" or "Ghost Guardians" (Wächter translates to "guardian" in German). Would probably involve some creative license in terms of "realistic" gear (mostly color and camo options that may or may not exist for that specific piece of equipment). There's already a few models that I have my eyes on.

Great, now I want to spend a lot of time on something that has a good chance of not even being released instead of working on Violence of Action.

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More concept testing

Winter v2 (Multicam Alpine suit, gray jacket)

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The other model with the SPEAR jacket

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Some fun facts:

  • There are more models than you may initially realize with CENTCOM. Notice the differences between the 2 models here with the SPEAR jackets. Same group, but minor differences for each environment. The SEAL CQB camouflage models also have differences with them. Lots of little details to look at.
  • In Heroes Unleashed, there is actually some reskinning done for the Delta Force models. For one, the textures were all made to be half the size of the originals to keep file size down (a lot of textures in HU do this actually). They also seem to be desaturated somewhat (hope I used the right term, basically they appear more dull and grayish in color). I can also say that texture edits like this and others have been done elsewhere in HU (blood effects, the M4A1 SOPMODs appear a little different than the originals, etc.). Seems that Apex went through all the textures to have a consistent style throughout. Also, the desert bandana sniper doesn't actually exist in the original 1990s Delta Force mod. This was accomplished by using the jungle sniper (who does have the bandana) and applying a few texture edits. The more you know.

Went through the Delta guys in Violence of Action and used the original textures to "restore" them. They work well in HU due to the consistent styling in it, but don't look as good when placed next to the CENTCOM models due to the differences in styling.

Delta Force (HU version)

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Delta Force "restored"

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Edited by Jack Wachter
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